OPINION

Olympic hospitality

Observing the countdown to the Olympic Games, I remembered the practice of removing the teeth from a comb when we were army conscripts to mark the days remaining until the end of our term. So, it only takes a little patience and a bit more curiosity to work out that we have 71 more teeth left in our current comb. The only difference is that this time the removal of the final tooth does not bring with it a sense of relief and freedom. On the contrary, it awakens the anxiety and attention of everyone to ensure that the favorable forecasts are realized and that we have a successful Olympiad. We don’t have to discuss the obvious – the fact that construction work needs to be completed and security preparations fine-tuned. Nor should we speculate about how many Athenians will choose to leave the Olympic capital for their summer holidays over experiencing a major sporting event first-hand in our new stadiums. One of the main concerns should be that visitors are comfortably accommodated. Apart from anything else, our country’s tradition of hospitality demands it. What is of paramount importance is that visitors do not leave with unfavorable impressions and complaints about unjustifiable inconveniences or about high prices. Yes, problems do exist. But no one should see this major sporting festival as an opportunity to make an easy profit. So, let’s have less of the cunning ploys and more of the long-term benefits of fair play.